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Oceanis 46.1 : The next big thing

Boat test by YACHTING WORLD (Issue n° 02, February 2019)

Conditions Boat Test : Newport & Barcelona, 6-12 knots and 15 - 29 knots, Standard in mast furling and shallow keel.

After upgrading the status of the ominous black clouds ahead from threatening-looking to really quite alarming, we turned to head back downwind… and hoisted even more sail. Boom! As gusts in the high 20s started barrelling through, this yacht really put on a show. Reaching and surfing, we were all whooping with delight, like kids with a powerful toy, especially when we clocked over 14 knots’ boat speed. Now this was what you’d call a test sail!

We were on board Beneteau’s brand new Oceanis 46.1, a design tasked with updating the company’s most popular model, sailing off Port Ginesta, Barcelona, under full main and Code 0. The designer, Pascal Conq, was with us and we had all now become intent on seeing just what this ‘fat-nosed’ new shape was capable of.

It was one of those days when it could have all gone wrong. The fact that it didn’t and that we were actually treated to an exhilarating, unforgettable sail – the type where you step ashore and can’t wipe the grin off your face – simply confirmed that the Oceanis 46.1 is a quite brilliant new model from the world’s largest boatbuilder. That it looks set to become the biggest-selling cruising monohull is perhaps due to other factors, however.

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